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Rep. Sweeney's bipartisan higher education bill passes as amendment, advances to governor's desk

Sweeney disappointed her bill was embroiled in unrelated controversial debate over EdChoice Scholarship, still pleased it is closer to becoming law
November 20, 2020
Bride Rose Sweeney News

COLUMBUS — State Rep. Bride Rose Sweeney (D-Cleveland) today announced the passage of her bipartisan House Bill (HB) 9 as an amendment to Senate Bill 89. Sweeney’s higher education legislation got caught up in a contentious battle over K-12 voucher expansion that had nothing to do with the original intent of her bill. 

“House Bill 9 is a critical first step toward ensuring that every Ohio student graduates on time and with a degree to show for it. Far too many Ohioans struggle to transfer credits between colleges and don’t complete their degree for preventable reasons,” said Rep. Sweeney

“Ohio is nowhere near attaining it’s 2025 goal of having 65 percent of the working population attain a postsecondary certificate or degree. This legislation puts us back on the path to increasing opportunity and reversing the brain drain. I am deeply disappointed that the bill was rolled into another controversial K-12 voucher bill. In the future, we must make a concentrated effort to address our state’s real problems in the realm of higher education instead of playing politics with Ohio’s future.”

Sweeney’s House Bill 9 will:

  • Develop an electronic equivalency management tool to assist in the transfer of college credits and minimize unnecessary duplication or institutional barriers;
  • Establish new standards for transfer credits not accepted between state institutions of higher education;
  • Require state universities to review student records and notify students if they are eligible or close to being eligible for an associate’s degree after leaving school;
  • Create a waiver for tuition and fees if a full time student was unable to enroll in a final course because of circumstances beyond the student’s control and meets certain other criteria.

SB 89 now moves to the governor’s desk to be signed into law.